Saturday, September 1, 2012
Rutgers grinds to win in Flood's debut
By Matt Fortuna
It wasn't flashy, but Rutgers football has rarely been about style.
The Scarlet Knights rode a stout defense and methodical rushing attack to a 24-12 victory over Tulane in coach Kyle Flood's debut, a night plagued by 20 total penalties between the schools.
Jawan Jamison rushed for 112 yards on just 18 carries and broke a scoreless tie midway through the second quarter with a 46-yard touchdown run. The defense held the Green Wave to eight rushing yards for the game.
Reigning Big East defensive player of the year Khaseem Greene led the way with a game-high 14 tackles, one sack and a pass breakup, and Brandon Jones made up for two earlier dropped interceptions by recording a 14-yard pick-six in the fourth quarter to make it 17-6, giving Rutgers some much-needed breathing room.
Gary Nova put the exclamation point on the night with a 43-yard scoring strike to Brandon Coleman in the fourth quarter to make it 24-6.
Rutgers gets Howard next Saturday, so its formula likely won't be tested until a Sept. 13 trip to USF, which also put on a strong defensive performance in its opener. Still, the Scarlet Knights made the big plays when they needed to in Flood's debut, and a quick peek at some of the less-fortunate Big East teams from earlier in the day will make the trip back to New Jersey all the more enjoyable after a season-opening win.